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The National Parks's Scrapbook

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John Muir was one of the earliest advocates of the national park idea, and its most eloquent spokesman. Born in Dunbar, Scotland, he moved with his family to a Wisconsin farm in 1849. Muir's father, an itinerant Presbyterian minister, treated him harshly and insisted that he memorize the Bible. By age 11, he was able to recite three-quarters of the Old Testament by heart, and all of the New Testament.

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Comments:

John Muir is a great subject for a book report.

John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt in Yosemite

John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt in Yosemite

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Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, 1903

Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, 1903

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Muir's three-night camping trip with President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 could be considered the most significant camping trip in conservation history. He was able to persuade Roosevelt to return Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to federal protection as part of Yosemite National Park. The trip would have a lasting impact on the president.

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John Muir, Sequoia National Park, circa 1902

John Muir, Sequoia National Park, circa 1902

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Muir began exploring the surrounding area and discovered that he was once again in a majestic forest, only this one was 200 million years old, and all of the trees had long ago fossilized into solid rock. It was the Petrified Forest.

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John Muir, Petrified Forest National Park, circa 1905

John Muir, Petrified Forest National Park, circa 1905

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John Muir and the Petrified Forest

John Muir and the Petrified Forest

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Muir's final crusade, to prevent the city of San Francisco from building a dam and creating a massive water reservoir in Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley, ended in bitter defeat with federal approval of the project in 1913. Muir died a year later, on Christmas Eve, at age 76.

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Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

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A proud tourist points at her National Parks windshield stickers, 1922; David Brower in Glen Canyon, 1966; Dayton Duncan's son, Will, standing at edge of canyon. Bryce Canyon National Park, 1998

Share Your Story

Have you visited a national park recently? Did an experience in a national park leave a lasting impression? Share your unique park story with us.

Discover Your National Parks

Discover Your National Parks

Explore your nearly 400 National Parks and get involved at the National Park Foundation web site.

Bank of America Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr Fund Corporation for Public Broadcasting The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Park Foundation

National Park Foundation The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation The Pew Charitable TrustsGM

THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA is a co-production of

Florentine Films and WETA

 

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